This Week in History: June 10-16, 2024

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This Week in History
by Dianne Hermann

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate
their own understanding of their history.” George Orwell

June 10-16, 2024




June 10

1793 – Washington, DC replaces Philadelphia as the U.S. capital.

1854 – The first class of the United States Naval Academy graduates 50 midshipmen.

1935 – Dr. Robert Smith and William Wilson of Akron, Ohio, form Alcoholics Anonymous.

1944 – The youngest player in major league baseball history pitches his first game. Joe Nuxhall was 15 years old (and 10 months, 11 days). He went on to play 16 seasons before broadcasting for the Cincinnati Reds for 40 years. Nuxhall died in 2007 at age 79. Watch a news report done in memory of Nuxhall.



1963 – President Kennedy signs a law for equal pay for equal work for men and women.

1978 – Affirmed wins the Triple Crown at the 110th Belmont Stakes with jockey Steve Cauthen in 2:26.8. The next horses to win the Triple Crown were American Pharaoh in 2015 and Justify in 2018. Watch Affirmed win all three races to take the Triple Crown.



1998 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court rules that poor children in Milwaukee can attend religious schools at taxpayer expense.

2003 – The Spirit Rover is launched, beginning NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover mission. The Rover landed on Mars on January 2004 and transmitted information until March 2010.


June 11

1578 – England grants Sir Humphrey Gilbert a patent to explore and colonize North America.

1776 – The Continental Congress creates a committee (Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston) to draft a Declaration of Independence.

1859 – The Comstock silver lode is discovered near Virginia City, Nevada, by two miners, Peter O’Riley and Patrick McLaughlin.

1895 – The first auto race held in the U.S. runs from Chicago to Milwaukee with six cars. Charles Duryea’s Motorized Wagon won the race in about eight hours at an average speed of 7 mph.

1919 – Sir Barton becomes the first horse to win the Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes). Since then, 12 horses have won the Triple Crown. In the last century, 35 horses have won two of the three legs of the Triple Crown.

1948 – The V-2 Blossom rocket is launched into space from White Sands, New Mexico, carrying Albert I, a Rhesus monkey. Albert did not survive the flight. Watch a report about V-2 rockets and four Albert monkey’s flights.



1977 – Seattle Slew wins the Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown. The previous Triple Crown winner is Secretariat in 1973. The most recent was Justify in 2018.

1984 – The U.S. Supreme Court declares illegally obtained evidence (Exclusionary Rule) may be admitted at trial if it could be proved that it would have been discovered legally.

1990 – The Supreme Court says the law prohibiting desecration of the U.S. flag is unconstitutional.

1998 – Mitsubishi of America agrees to pay $34 million to end the largest sexual harassment case filed by the U.S. government. The federal lawsuit claimed that hundreds of women at a plant in Normal, Illinois, had endured groping and crude jokes from male workers.

2004 – Ronald Reagan’s funeral is held at the Washington National Cathedral. Former President Reagan died on June 5th at age 93. Watch the solemn procession.



2009 – The World Health Organization (WHO) declares the H1N1 swine flu a global pandemic. President Obama gets the vaccine in December after months of vaccine shortages.


June 12

1665 – England installs a municipal government in New York City (the former Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam).

1908 – The Lusitania arrives in New York City after crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a record 4 days 15 hours. A German torpedo sank the ship during World War I in June 1915 on a voyage from New York to England. The ship sank in 18 minutes, with a loss of 1,195 of the 1,959 people on board, including 123 Americans.

1939 – The Baseball Hall of Fame opens in Cooperstown, New York. The first inductees were Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Honus Wagner, and Babe Ruth.

1948 – Eddie Arcaro becomes the only jockey to win the Triple Crown twice. He won in 1941 on Whirlaway and in 1948 on Citation. Watch a report, including an interview of Arcaro.



1967 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules unanimously in Loving v. Virginia to end laws against interracial marriages.

1987 – President Reagan publicly challenges Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. Watch the president make his historic and prophetic demand.



2009 – All television broadcasts in the U.S. switch from analog to digital transmissions.

2016 – A terrorist claiming allegiance to the Islamic State opens fire the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 and injuring 53, making it the worst mass shooting in the U.S.


June 13

1774 – Rhode Island becomes the first colony to prohibit the importation of slaves.

1777 – Marquis de Lafayette of France lands in the U.S. He served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, becoming life-long friends with George Washington. In 2002, Lafayette became one of only eight people declared an “honorary citizen of the United States” by an Act of Congress.

1920 – The U.S. Post Office Department rules that children may not be sent by parcel post. The rule stemmed from a 1914 incident when 5-year-old Charlotte May Pierstorff was mailed to her grandparents by parcel post for 53 cents to avoid the train cost of $1.55. Charlotte May arrived safely.

1957 – A full-scale reproduction of the Mayflower sails from Plymouth, England, and reaches Plymouth, Massachusetts. Watch a narrated newsreel film.



1966 – The Supreme Court rules on the Miranda case and decides that suspects must be informed of their rights prior to being arrested.

1971 – The New York Times begins publishing the Pentagon Papers. The “Report of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Vietnam Task Force” revealed that the U.S. had been secretly bombing Cambodia and Loas.

1979 – The Sioux Nation receives $100 million in compensation from the U.S. for taking Black Hills, South Dakota.

1983 – Pioneer 10 becomes the first man-made object to leave our Solar System. NASA officially ended the project in 2003 after the spacecraft sent its last signal to Earth, having traveled over 7.6 billion miles.

1996 – A group called the Montana Freeman give up to the FBI following an 81-day standoff. Three of their members were arrested by the FBI on March 25th, which sparked the standoff. The FBI decided not to force out the Freemen after disastrous results at Ruby Ridge in 1992 and Waco in 1993.

1997 – American fugitive Ira Einhorn is arrested in France after 16 years on the run for the murder of Holly Maddux, although he was not extradited until four years later. He was convicted in 2002 and is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole. Einhorn died in prison in 2020 at age 79.

2005 – A jury in Santa Maria, California, acquits singer Michael Jackson of molesting a 13-year-old boy at his Neverland Ranch. Jackson died in 2009 at age 50.


June 14 – Flag Day

1777 – The Continental Congress adopts the Stars and Stripes flag, replacing the Grand Union flag (13 red and white stripes with the British flag in the upper corner).

1922 – President Warren G. Harding becomes the first president to have his voice transmitted by radio while addressing a crowd at the dedication of a memorial site for Francis Scott Key, composer of the “Star Spangled Banner.”

1943 – The Supreme Court rules that schoolchildren cannot be made to salute the flag if doing so conflicts with their religious beliefs.

1949 – Albert II, a rhesus monkey, makes the second V2 rocket flight. The monkey died on reentry after a parachute failure.

1954 – President Eisenhower signs an order adding the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance.

1973 – President Richard Nixon’s administration imposes a 60-day nation-wide wage and price freeze.

1990 – The Supreme Court rules that police DUI checkpoints for drunk drivers are constitutional.

2013 – The U.S. government charges former CIA employee Edward Snowden with violating the Espionage Act and theft of government property by leaking classified NSA information. Snowden, now 40 years old, has been granted asylum in Russia.


June 15

1775 – George Washington is appointed commander-in-chief of Continental Army.

1864 – Robert E. Lee’s home in Arlington, Virginia, becomes a military cemetery.

1878 – Leland Stanford, former governor of California, hires photographer Eadweard Muybridge to make the first motion pictures to see if all four of a horse’s hooves leave the ground. Muybridge used 12 cameras, each taking one picture. Watch the short silent film.



1924 – J. Edgar Hoover assumes leadership of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and served as its director until his death in 1972 at age 77.

1955 – The Eisenhower administration stages the first annual “Operation Alert” (OPAL) civil defense readiness exercise, an attempt to assess the America’s preparations for a nuclear attack.

1962 – Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) complete the Port Huron Statement, a radical manifesto written primarily by SDS co-founder Tom Hayden during a United Auto Workers retreat in Port Huron, Michigan. Hayden, married to Jane Fonda from 1973 to 1990, died in 2016 at age 76.

1982 – The Supreme Court rules that all children, regardless of citizenship, are entitled to a public education.

1983 – The Supreme Court strikes down two state and local restrictions on abortion. In the City of Akron v Akron Center, the court ruled against a law requiring parental consent for abortions for girls under age 15. On the same day the court also ruled against a Missouri law requiring abortions in the second trimester be performed at a hospital.

2012 – A rare working Apple I computer sells at a New York auction for a record $374,500. The 38-year-old circuit board was built by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Only 200 were made, and of the estimated 50 units that survive, only 6 are still working.


June 16

1858 – Abraham Lincoln says, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” when accepting the Illinois Republican Party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate. (From the Gospel of Mark 3:25)

1903 – “Pepsi-Cola” is officially registered with the U.S. Patent Office. Pepsi was invented in 1893 by Caleb David Bradham of North Carolina as “Brad’s Drink” and was sold to aid in digestion. He renamed it Pepsi after the two main ingredients, pepsin and cola. Bradham launched the company in the back room of his pharmacy in 1902.

1909 – Jim Thorpe makes his professional pitching debut in baseball for the Rocky Mount Railroaders with a 4-2 win. This caused him to forfeit his 1912 Olympic medals by violating the amateur status rules. Thorpe’s medals were restored in 1983, 30 years after his death.

1941 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the closure of all the German consulates in the U.S. by July 10th.

1966 – “Rowan & Martin Show” debuts on TV. The show was hosted by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin. Rowan and Martin launched the cultural phenomenon “Laugh-In” in 1968. Watch one of the weekly joke walls.



1967 – Over 50,000 people attend the Monterey International Pop Festival in Monterey, California. Woodstock was held two years later.

1987 – Subway Vigilante Bernhard Goetz is acquitted on all but gun possession charges after shooting four black teenagers who tried to rob him on the subway.

2008 – California begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.




Image from: nationalreview.com


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